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Join us the week of March 17-20, 2016 in Celebration of Saint Josephs Day

Join us the week of March 17-20, 2016 in Celebration of Saint Josephs Day

Saint Josephs Day March 19, 2016

A note from Victor Rallo Jr. 

My Father loved this day and would always cook a feast for family and friends. I grew up eating pasta con sarde and the traditional sfinge on St. Joseph’s day. After my father passed away in 2002, I promised to keep the tradition alive, please join us and enjoy this special occasion.

Customs of the Day St. Joseph’s Day is a big Feast for Italians because in the Middle Ages, God, through St. Joseph’s intercessions, saved the Sicilians from a very serious drought. So in his honor, the custom is for all to wear red, in the same way that green is worn on St. Patrick’s Day.

Today, after Mass (at least in parishes with large Italian populations), a big altar (“la tavola di San Giuseppe” or “St. Joseph’s Table”) is laden with food contributed by everyone (note that all these St. Joseph celebrations might take place on the nearest, most convenient weekend). Different Italian regions celebrate this day differently, but all involve special meatless foods: minestrone, pasta with breadcrumbs (the breadcrumbs symbolize the sawdust that would have covered St. Joseph’s floor), seafood, Sfinge di San Giuseppe, and, always, fava beans, which are considered “lucky” because during the drought, the fava thrived while other crops failed (recipes below).

The table — which is always blessed by a priest — will be in three tiers, symbolizing the Most Holy Trinity. The top tier will hold a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and greenery. The other tiers might hold, in addition to the food: flowers (especially lilies); candles; figurines and symbolic breads and pastries shaped like a monstrance, chalices, fishes, doves, baskets, St. Joseph’s staff, lilies, the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, carpentry tools, etc.; 12 fishes symbolizing the 12 Apostles; wine symbolizing the miracle at Cana; pineapple symbolizing hospitality; lemons for “luck”; bread and wine (symbolizing the Last Supper); and pictures of the dead. There will also be a basket in which the faithful place prayer petitions.

The cry “Viva la Tavola di San Giuseppe!” begins the feasting and is heard throughout the day. When the eating is done, the St. Joseph’s altar is smashed, and then three children dressed as the Holy Family will knock on three doors, asking for shelter. They will be refused at the first two, and welcomed at the third, in memory of the Holy Family’s seeking of hospitality just before Christ was born. This re-enactment is called “Tupa Tupa,” meaning “Knock Knock.”

The day ends with each participant taking home a bag that might be filled with bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a medal of St. Joseph, a Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean. Keep your “lucky bean,” and let it remind you to pray to St. Joseph. (The Litany of St. Joseph would be most appropriate today! You can download the Litany, in Microsoft Word .doc format, in English and in Latin).


Pasta di San Giuseppe

Bucatini or Perciatelli pasta


2 TBSP olive oil

5 cloves garlic, chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes

2 cups chopped fresh fennel

2 cups crushed tomatoes

2 TBSP tomato paste

1 TBSP chopped fresh basil

4 cans of drained, skinless, boneless sardines

Heat oil in large pot, and saute in it the garlic and pepper flakes. Add the fennel, tomatoes, paste, and basil. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes ’til fennel is tender. Add the sardines and simmer a few more minutes.


1 TBSP olive oil

1 cup fine homemade breadcrumbs

Heat oil, and add crumbs and heat until golden brown. Pour sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

Traditional St. Josephs Reading

Sermon 2, On St Joseph

By St. Bernardine of Siena

This is the general rule that applies to all individual graces given to a rational creature. Whenever divine grace selects someone to receive a particular grace, or some especially favored position, all the gifts for his state are given to that person, and. enrich him abundantly.

This is especially true of that holy man Joseph, the supposed father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and true husband of the queen of the world and of the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father to be the faithful foster-parent and guardian of the most precious treasures of God, his Son and his spouse. This was the task which he so faithfully carried out. For this, the Lord said to him, “Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”

A comparison can be made between Joseph and the whole Church of Christ. Joseph was the specially chosen man through whom and under whom Christ entered the  world fittingly and in an appropriate way. So, if the whole Church is in the debt of the Virgin Mary, since, through her, it was able to receive the Christ, surely after her, it also owes to Joseph special thanks and veneration.

For he it is who marks the closing of the old testament. In him the dignity of the prophets and patriarchs achieves its promised fulfillment. Moreover; he alone possessed in the flesh what God in his goodness promised to them over and again.

It is beyond doubt that Christ did not deny to Joseph in heaven that intimacy, respect, and high honor which he showed to him as to a father during his own human life, but rather completed and perfected it. Justifiably the words of the Lord should be applied to him, “Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Although it is the joy of eternal happiness that comes into the heart of man, the Lord prefers to say to him “enter into joy”. The mystical implication is that this joy is not just inside man, but surrounds him everywhere and absorbs him, as if he were plunged in an infinite abyss.

Therefore be mindful of us, blessed Joseph, and intercede for us with Him Whom men thought to be your Son. Win for us the favor of the most Blessed Virgin your spouse, the mother of Him Who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit through ages unending.


Eat! Drink! Italy! With Vic Rallo Debuts Season Three Nationally on Create® TV This November

Press Contacts:

Tiffany Hoang
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Tel: 646.624.2885 ext. 113

Amy Capetta
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Eat! Drink! Italy! With Vic Rallo Debuts Season Three Nationally on Create® TV This November

(New York, NY, September 10, 2015)  Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo will premiere nationally on Tuesday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. (check local listings). Season Three features 13, new half-hour episodes showcasing Vic Rallo’s unique knowledge of Italian regional cuisine and wine. In the third season, Emmy nominated Vic Rallo takes viewers on a culinary adventure throughout Italy to explore the concepts of “la materia prima” – the finest quality of ingredients – and the phenomenon known as “kilometer zero” – the concept of harmonizing ingredients-using locally connected ingredients and wines in one’s cuisine. In Season Three, he, along with Italian wine expert Anthony Verdoni, also introduces many undiscovered Italian wine varieties while educating viewers on more popular Italian wines.

Vic serves as tour guide as he energetically and enthusiastically moves from ground to table, whether working in the kitchen alongside local chefs-some Michelin starred-or wandering among the grapes with vintners whose families have dedicated their lives to the art of winemaking. From cheese to fish, from homemade pastas and soups to vegetables and meats, each episode will satisfy foodies with unique takes on traditional recipes, and the bonus of some of the best scenery Italy has to offer. Each episode will tell the story of the men and women who are creating some of Italy’s best cuisine and wines and the relationships Vic has formed through his extensive travels from North to south of Italy. The third season of Eat! Drink! Italy! takes viewers across Italy, typically presenting three segments per program.

Season Three offers our viewers more of the types of recipes and food stories they’ve asked for over the last two years. We’ve also added informative and useful segments on outstanding but unknown Italian wines that are now ready for their time in your glass.” explained executive producer and director Mark Ganguzza. “For centuries our ancestors used the food outside their doors,” added Rallo. “For centuries the plot line hasn’t changed a bit: passionate Italians using ingredients found literally outside their doors to create food and wine that is second to none. And, it just keeps getting better and more approachable.”

Vic Rallo is the owner of Birravino, a trattoria in Red Bank, New Jersey, and Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson, New Jersey which offers a traditional rustic menu. A noted expert on Italian wine and cuisine, his reviews and recommendations are much sought after by the public and his colleagues in the culinary business. He has appeared regularly on national television on The Rachael Ray Show, Good Day Live, and CBS The Couch speaking about the culture, cuisine and wine of the country he is so passionate about. will feature several of the recipes presented in the series. Food and wine pairings, wine reviews, archives of recipes from season one and more are available at

Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo Season Three episodes air as follows (check local listings):

301- “Simple Is Key”: Vic is in San Danielle to visit a prosciutto maker. Vic and Tony Verdoni interview five young women who are helping to redefine the Piemonte area’s Barolo wines. Then, Vic makes Mozzarella En Carrozza, the classic mozzarella sandwich.

302- “You Get Out What You Put In”: Paestum’s Chef Matteo Sangiovanni teaches Vic his “reversed” ravioli. Vic visits Chef Massimo Camia in Piemonte as he prepares a locally inspired rabbit dish.

303- “You Are What You Eat”: Vic is in Tuscany with Chef Lia Schiera to make her spinach filled crepes. Vic and Tony Verdoni talk about one of the best Chiantis. Chef Roberto Rossi teaches Vic his unique dessert Calzone.

304- “The Best Ingredients”: Chef Lia Schiera returns to prepare her wonderfully simple vegetable and pasta recipe. Vic and Tony Verdoni talk about the relatively unknown Cannubi wine. Vic travels to Turin with Chef Nicola DiTarsia as they make a basic tagliorini and sausage pasta.

305 –“Elegant But Approachable”: Vic and Tony Verdoni are in Lombardy to talk about Franciacorta wines and how best to pair them. Chef Patrizio Cirri makes a basic Tuscan tomato meat sauce.

306-“Measure Twice, Cut Once”: Campania’s Chef Matteo Sangiovanni creates a dish using mozzarella in three ways. Vic and Tony talk about the Montefalco area’s up and coming Sagrantino wine. A visit to a buffalo mozzarella factory.

307-“The Locals Know”: Tuscany’s Chef Patrizio Cirri returns to teach Vic his classic, hyperlocal braised beef recipe. Vic is in Verona with Chef Luisa Zecchinato as she bakes her Grana Padano cheese biscuits. Vic and Tony Verdoni are near Florence to talk about the area’s seminal Vin Santo dessert wine and pairing it with two great local cookies.

308- “Trust The Land”: Vic and Tony Verdoni talk to Lamberto Frescobaldi about his unique attempt to help prisoners make wine and enter society with winemaking skills. Vic visits Campania and Chef Lina Fischetti as she makes her local lamb and smoked potato recipe.

309- “The Spice Of Life”: Chef Filippo Oscar Artioli prepares his signature pasta dish and pairs it with Montefalco, the area’s little known but outstanding wine. Vic is near Naples to learn Chef Elio Bonafiglia’s pizza dough recipe with a unique ingredient.

310- “Be Picky”: Vic and Tony Verdoni talk with one of Italy’s best know wine families. Chef Nicola DiTarsia makes a basic torteloni pasta from the Torino area. Vic and Tony taste a 1931 vintage wine.

311- “Use The Best”: Vic visits Parma and Chef Rosaria Tunnera to learn how to make a unique but simple savarin (dome) of rice. Vic and Tony Verdoni are in Tuscany to talk about Chianti’s new and much improved identity. Back to Campania and the kitchen of Chef Matteo Sangiovanni as he puts his new twist on the venerable Spaghetti and Clam Sauce recipe.

312- “A Little Knowledge” Vic visits with Sorrento’s Chef Antonino Esposito to learn his masterful pizza recipe. Then, back to Tuscany with Chef Patrizio Cirri to prepare a sausage crostini. Vic and Tony Verdoni are in Campania to talk to some of the area’s dynamic and successful winemakers.

313- “Easy Is Best” Vic travels to Piemonte to learn Chef Massimo Camia’s hazelnut dessert. Tony Verdoni talks to an Amarone winemaker. Vic and Tony talk about the delicious and versatile Piave cheese.

About Eat!Drink!Italy! with Vic Rallo

Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo, ( takes television viewers on a fast-paced informative tour of Italy’s virtually world of limitless food and wine, from the Alps to the southern shores of Sicily, each week on public television’s Create network. Whether touring a cheese cave that was once one of Mussolini’s bunkers, hunting for the elusive white truffle, exploring Napoleon’s wine tunnels, visiting a Slow Food superstar in her humble kitchen or going 20 meters underground to the very roots of one of Italy’s most celebrated wine varietals, Vic Rallo brings a unique perspective to the traditional format of television cooking series. Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo is a production of Sunburst Creative Group produced by Mark Ganguzza.

About CreateTV

Drawing from more than 60 public television series from the cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening and arts & crafts genres, Create is now in its ninth year and reaches more than 76% of USTVHHs. The channel has become the destination for fans of the DIY/how-to genre, airing longtime favorites and marathons of themed episodes. Eat! Drink! Italy! with Vic Rallo is a production of Sunburst Creative Group. The series is a presentation of WLIW21 in association with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television. Diane Masciale is executive in charge of production for WLIW21.

Vic to Interview Lidia Bastianich at Count Basie Theatre

Lidia Bastianich will be interviewed by Vic Rallo, host of public television’s “Eat Drink Italy” and the owner of Birravino in Red Bank and Undici in Rumson, in advance of the October release of Bastianich’s book, “Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to be a Great Italian Cook.”

An Intimate Conversation with Lidia Bastianich is part of the theater’s Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience series, and her appearance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4. Tickets are on sale now.

The event will be “an evening of conversation and storytelling celebrating our love of Italian food,” according to a news release. Ticket prices range from $20 to $85, and the latter includes a premium seat and signed copy of the cookbook.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

via Daily Record